Department of Chemistry


Welcome to the Rice University Department of Chemistry! The Department encompasses scientists and engineers who investigate the composition, properties, structure, and reactivity of matter. Among us are organic, inorganic, physical, and biological chemists, both theorists and experimentalists. Bolstered by state-of-the-art instrumentation and close personal interactions, Rice is a terrific place to do chemical research. The Department boasts of two Nobel laureates and four members of the National Academy of Sciences; moreover, it hosts one of only six National Science Foundation funded centers for nanoscale science and engineering.

For decades, the Rice culture has promoted interdisciplinary research. Most Rice Chemistry professors hold additional appointments elsewhere on campus, including most of the five science departments and five out of nine engineering departments. We have particularly strong programs in nanoscale science, inorganic materials and organic synthesis, as well as theoretical, biological, supramolecular, environmental, and experimental physical chemistry. Rice University is a member of the Texas Medical Center (the largest in the world), and the Department of Chemistry is at the center of important breakthroughs in nanomedicine.

Our Chemistry graduate program is ranked as one of the top chemistry programs according to U.S. News & World Report. It is sharply focused on promoting the highest level of achievement for each Rice doctoral student. The program is highly selective in admitting outstanding graduate students and ensures that they have unusual access to faculty time, instrumentation, and other resources. As a consequence, our Chemistry graduate students develop strong publication records. Most of them take part in the Graduate Student Association, a university-wide body that holds social events and participates in university governance. To ensure that financial constraints are not an obstacle, we waive the application fee for domestic students and provide a generous stipend and full-tuition waivers for those who enter our doctoral program. Most recently, our faculty and affiliated industry experts a curriculum for a new degree program that will offer a non-thesis master’s degree in Applied Chemical Sciences, available for enrollment in Spring 2021.

Rice undergraduate chemists are also among the best in the nation. A low ratio of Chemistry faculty members to majors gives our undergraduates unusually close working relationships with their professors. Most Chemistry majors take advantage of the research opportunities in the department and often join a lab during their first year. As a result, they are positioned to take real intellectual control of their research, and many of them coauthor publications that describe their findings.

The Department of Chemistry is a leader within Natural Sciences in its level of research support, and is also a leader in establishing shared facilities through the Shared Equipment Authority, by providing space and personnel for this endeavor. Coupled with a strong network of colleagues from around the word and accomplished alumni, our community remains connected with the latest innovations in research and application. Our programming features special lectures, an stimulating seminar series with invited guests, and community building events.

Our Department has propelled itself to unparalleled status over the past three decades, and we continue to strive toward discovery and innovation that brings us closer to understanding the world around us. We invite you to take a look around and learn about all that we are accomplishing!